Waterstones at a Watershed

In the past few weeks we have seen a number of announcements coming from James Daunt and the new management team at Waterstones and all of this has been looked at in isolaton. Looking at the bigger picture we begin to see what can be interpreted as Waterstones new strategy or part of it anyway. How much more has to be unveiled will be interesting but what is becoming clear is a distinct repositioning of the UK’s leading book chain. Read more »

Is the eBook market reaching maturity in the UK?

Something is happening in the world of publishing as it appears the major publishers are finally reacting to the aggressive pricing of eBooks at Amazon by self published authors and independent publishers. This weeks top 20 only 8 titles prepared to take titles over £1. This is great for readers but a worrying sign for smaller publishers and independent authors who have led the way with pricing on eBooks so far. Karin Slaughter’s eBook exclusive ‘The Unremarkable Heart’ is priced at 44p and publishers Cornerstone is clearly going to make a killing. Read more »

World eReading Congress – So Cordially Invited...

Well in the end I was very cordially invited to join the World eReading Congress by the event organisers and help host the opening sessions on Tuesday 10th May with BBC’s Technology Correspondent, Maggie Philbin chairing the event. In fact it was a surreal moment for me to be introduced by Maggie. The event itself cannot be criticised for its lack of scope, quite the opposite really, as the world of digital publishing came together from newspapers, magazines and books. Read more »

ePub3 - Media rich has to add consumer value

The arrival of ePub 3 will undoubtedly see a rush from publishers to make maximum use of its whistles and bells. Will fiction publishers be falling over themselves to produce media rich content? While I can see the temptation to add video author interviews or even authors reading chapters, my concern will be adding multi-media content just because we can, not because it is actually needed or adds anything to the publication. Read more »

LBF11, ePub 3 and the next big thing?

So the London Book Fair is over for another year and I have to report that it was a far better fair than last year, though that comparison is like telling a man who has just lost his leg that you have been able to sell his shoe.  The numbers were back and so was a genuine buzz. The IRC had a constant flow and deals were being negotiated not just in the IRC but also in the many cafes populating Earl’s Court.

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World e-Reading Congress 2011…You are cordially so uninvited

Well, this morning I received my invitation to the World e-Reading Congress 2011 in London. I opened the mail with anticipation thinking here is an event which could be very interesting. My eyes were immediately drawn to the box-out in the centre of the letter which accompanied the 8 page colour brochure. The box read “If you register before 1st April you can save up to £290!”, at this point my heart sank and I realised here is another event which is not aimed at opening up the debate beyond the publishing big boys. Read more »

World Book Night

 A huge success or just another case of a middle class industry happily patting itself on the back. The chattering classes seem obsessively pleased and smug about getting books out to the masses (might as well say proletariat). Publishing seems so comfortable with itself with no good reason. The industry is in a mess, unable to cope with change but happily selling itself down the path of self-destruction. Read more »

The Death of the Book Store...Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls, it’s just the first round....

What we are currently experiencing in the high street is an adjustment to a revolution, albeit one in a velvet glove. eBooks won't be the demise of the high street book store nor will they replace paper books.  The publishing industry has had problems long before the current rise in eBook popularity and a lot of those problems have been enforced on book shops by the publishing industry who have in turn bounced back some pretty unsustainable business practices.  Read more »

Silver surfers or digital pioneers?

More people aged over 55 own e-readers than the younger generation, according to a new study on digital reading habits, reported in The Bookseller, under the headline "More over-50s own e-readers than youngsters". Read more »

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